Friends of Donna Drury-Heine don't always recognize her in a photo from her first sales job at P&G. She's standing in the back of a group of about 20 white men. "You assimilated into the culture if you wanted to be successful," she says. "I felt I lost my identity as a female the first couple years because I was trying too hard to look like a guy and fit in." She remembers excusing herself from meetings in those days to go to the bathroom and cry. The men "just didn't get it," she says.

"By the time I got promoted to a manager there were like five women there," she says. "We started to say if we got together we could really make a difference." Fast forward to a photo of Drury-Heine's sales team 10 years later.
Drury-Heine is sporting a pastel shirt, earrings and styled hair amid a colorful spectrum of faces, many of which belong to women.

Women's networks started by Drury-Heine and her co-workers had grown as more employees volunteered to help recruit, retain and promote deserving women, who could then talk about issues men weren't aware of. "When you're doing a display of Head & Shoulders and a grocery store manager rubs up against you, what do you do?" she says. "That was the (early) '80s. Now it's called sexual harassment."
Hundreds of P&G saleswomen began to attend annual meetings, which the company began to support financially. By the time Drury-Heine left P&G in 2001 after a 20-year career, she was on the company's national women's board helping oversee 15 women's sales networks. Today, she continues to speak at many of these support groups and sees her work establishing them, for women as well as minorities, as something "that really made a difference." Drury-Heine's passion for helping women in business is stronger than ever.

She left P&G to start LifeQuest Executive Coaching & Seminars, targeted toward women professionals. People asked why she didn't also focus on men.

"I was like, you know what, they have a lot of support systems out there.

Women don't." Drury-Heine is determined to provide what she calls a "safe place" for women, even if they can't pay. "All I ask is that they buy me a cup of coffee, preferably a Blue Chip," she says.

Drury-Heine is also a part-owner of Blue Chip Cookie Company, which sells gourmet cookies, ice cream and coffee. Donna and her husband Bob Heine purchased it in November 2005 with partners Greg and Sonia Smith. The Loveland-based company has three stores in Cincinnati as well as a growing online business, six franchise locations around the country and plans to exceed 500 stores nationally.

Outside her two companies, Drury-Heine fundraises for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She raised more than $8,000 in 2006 by bicycling 100 miles in one day in memory of her first husband Michael Drury, who died of Leukemia in 1994. Drury-Heine also works with CancerFree Kids, a Loveland-based pediatric cancer research alliance. She recently founded Loveland's Amazing Women, a support and networking group.

Sandra Vogel, president of the E-Women's Network, has known Drury-Heine for more than four years. "She always tells me the same thing," says Vogel. I  just want to make a difference one person at a time.' That is what she does every day and that is her mantra in life.